Chanel’s Latest Premiere Timepiece Is The Same, But Different

When the Chanel Premiere watch was introduced in 1987, the company’s artistic director at the time, Jacques Helleu, explained, “I fought to make a design that was strong, that was unique, that – more than just launching a single collection – would become an eternal reference.” More than 30 years later, the newest Chanel Premiere remains true to those words. Based on the age-old premise that “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” the newest model arrives with the iconic Premiere design codes intact: the case in the octagonal shape of the stopper of the N°5 perfume bottle – which in turn recalls the outline of place Vendôme, the view Gabrielle Chanel saw from her suite at the Ritz; the bracelet designed like the interlaced leather and chain strap of Chanel’s iconic quilted bag; and the beveled glass sapphire crystal over the dial.

The difference with the new model? It has a beautiful black onyx dial, and the case is yellow gold, which brings the watch completely in line with current trends – the black and yellow gold combination is hot right now in luxury watches – while preserving the original aesthetic. The steel crown is coated with 18k yellow gold (0.1 micron), and set with an onyx cabochon. The steel chain bracelet is also 18k yellow gold plated, and interlaced with black leather. There are no numerals or indexes, no second hand or date display. Under the beveled glass, there are only two hands, finished in gold. The case dimensions are 26.1 x 20 x 7.65 mm. An icon, with a new color code.

In 1987, for the launch of the Premiere, Chanel opened two dedicated boutiques: one in Paris at 40 avenue Montaigne; and the other in Geneva at 43 rue du Rhône. This was followed in 1990 by the opening of a location at Place Vendôme in Paris. In 2022, Chanel has redesigned its Place Vendôme, and renewed its signature ladies’ watch.

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